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New Poll - What Makes a "Manga"?
Our member vigorousjammer poses a question: what makes a manga? Is it a certain art style? Is it just the language? Is it Japanese culture? Is it something else? Of course the options in the poll aren't exhaustive and have a bunch of exclusions with "only", but choose the option that best fits you, and feel free to discuss the intricacies of your answer here in this thread!

You can submit poll ideas here

Previous Pol Results:
Question: What kind of mobile phone do you primarily use?
KaiOS - votes: 3 (0.1%)
Windows - votes: 33 (0.8%)
BlackBerry - votes: 9 (0.2%)
Symbian - votes: 7 (0.2%)
Flip phone - votes: 69 (1.7%)
Other - votes: 52 (1.3%)
I don't use mobile phones - votes: 167 (4.1%)
iOS - votes: 958 (23.5%)
Android - votes: 2772 (68.1%)
There were 4070 total votes.
The poll ended: May 2nd 2020

Who are the 3 people that have KaiOS?
Posted by lambchopsil on 
May 2nd 7:59am
Comments ( 17 )  
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» residentgrigo on May 2nd, 2020, 1:09am

Our options are a bit convoluted but only if it was published by a Japanese company or made for the Japanese manga market hits the spot the most. Even Shounen Jump has published works by non-Japanese authors so there is no room to say that a "foreigner" can´t produce works that are recognized as manga in Japan but complications can arise of course.
The comic -they aren´t necessarily called manga in Japan btw, it´s pretty complicated- needs to be done with the market in mind. That is my main criteria I would say. Self-publication is rather advanced these days (One-Punch Man) so I don´t think that you need necessarily to do it with a Japanese publisher. It helps of course.

merriam-webster: Japanese comic books and graphic novels considered collectively as a genre
I don´t 100% agree with the genre definition as manga is a publication form and full color (web) manga or newspaper strips could fall outside of this recognized genre norm but I will admit that anime and manga are treated as a genre all the time (hello Netflix).

Wiki´s first sentence on manga is much better:
Manga are comics or graphic novels created in Japan or using the Japanese language and conforming to a style developed in Japan in the late 19th century.

Edit: And good luck finding a foolproof definition for anime. Lol.
Many manga authors use pseudonyms. Assuming that they are Japanese will be right in most cases but will it hold true for all of them. Especially in the future... nope. Both the writer and artist of Watchmen are English but the world-famous comic is thought of as an American publication due to the US company DC comics publishing and owning it. Even US cape comics aren´t as American as you think:
User Posted Image


» Suxinn on May 2nd, 2020, 1:45am

This is basically my view too. Publishers are generally what I look towards to determine the demographics of something, and so that's my general rule of thumb for what qualifies as a manga too: which company published it first? For instance, Chronos Ruler was eventually picked up and published by Shounen Jump+ but it was originally published by Chinese publisher FanFan, so it's a manhua, not a manga. Meanwhile, Ponjea's later series are all published by Japanese publishers, so they're manga, despite him being a Taiwanese artist.

Webcomics are a bit dicier, but it seems that a lot of webcomics seem to be consolidating under actual publishers nowadays rather than the ye olde days where someone threw it up on a self-created webpage, so I suspect that'll become easier to differentiate with time.

And, yeah, anime is definitely way harder to quantify, especially with all the outsourcing that goes on there...


» residentgrigo on May 2nd, 2020, 2:32am

It´s not just outsourcing from Japan to other countries. This is one of the reasons why Covid-19 is wrecking the industry so hard. Here is an "anime" clip:
User Posted Image
Batman: Gotham Knight is technically set between Batman Begins and TDK.

We have co-productions alike Time Jam: Valerian & Laureline (based on a famous EU comic that gave us the fun Luc Besson mega flop from 2017), the Animatrix or the recent washout Star Wars: Resistance (animated by Polygon). Highlander went anime, Starship Troopers went anime 3 times (the 80s Sunrise OVAs were done without a license!) and all sorts of 80s and 90s toons were animated in Japan (Akira animators worked on Batman TAS and Beyond) but those are work for hire US productions. CG anime is also anime but things get really hairy there at times, hello Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, and we finally have stuff like World Masterpiece Theater:

An easy to grasp definition of anime sailed decades ago. Castlevania by Netflix is a cartoon though. A highly international production but not an anime.

In conclusion: Rick and Morty in Japanese (and look up the Japanese King of the Hill dub!):

Edit: South Park in Japanese
Yes, the famous anime ep was translated into Japanese.

Edit 2: South Park - Put It Down (Japanese)
This clip is officially the best thing I ever posted on this site.


» VawX on May 2nd, 2020, 2:48am

Huh interesting, I want to answer Only if it was published by a Japanese company or made for the Japanese manga market but what about foreigner that make doujin and distributed in Comicon Japan mmm...~?

It's basically self publish but collectively it's part of Japanese event mmm...


» DandelionLilyPetals on May 2nd, 2020, 4:16am

Wow, this is just......

What a great question to ask. This poll is making me contemplate all my life choices. I chose Only if it was published by a Japanese company or made for the Japanese Manga market because it seems logical. There are a lot of questions in the back of my head but I don't wanna be sent to a hospital after thinking about those questions thoroughly.


» ebisu on May 2nd, 2020, 5:08am

I ended up selecting Only if it had manga-style artwork, because I often think and read things like: this is a french manga, like Radiant or City Hall, or this is a manga made in xx country.


» calstine on May 2nd, 2020, 5:31am

Only if it was published by a Japanese company or made for the Japanese manga market makes the most sense to me, so I'll go with that. I've come across a few works by Chinese/Taiwanese/Korean authors who publish via Japanese companies. (They were even in right-to-left format!) But somehow I could always tell that the writer/artist wasn't Japanese; there's just that subtle difference in tone/characterisation/storytelling style/art that clues you in, imo.


» Transdude1996 on May 2nd, 2020, 5:46am

Is ShindoL's Works Considered Manga: The Poll


» dreamaway on May 2nd, 2020, 7:36pm

His works are published by a Japanese company, so if you picked that option, yeah.


» KaoriNite on May 2nd, 2020, 6:10am

It's hard for me to choose because I would actually accept any of the three following answers, 1) if was written in Japanese 2) if it was published by a Japanese company or made for the Japanese market and 3) if it had manga-style artwork. Also, it wouldn't matter to me if the person lived in Japan or outside of Japan.

But overall, I don't care if it's categorized as a manga or a comic or a graphic novel. It just matters if it's good.


» HikaruYami on May 2nd, 2020, 6:16am

Only if it was published by a Japanese company or made for the Japanese manga market

This also applies to Japanese people in Japan as well, though. ONE is Japanese, but the original OPM is frequently called a "webcomic" on English-speaking websites rather than a manga, with only the redraw being designated a "manga".

Of course, going into the meaning of the word, manga just means comic, and even American superhero comics get called manga by most Japanese people....


» Ceiye on May 2nd, 2020, 11:32am

I need an option for if they themselves call it a manga, sure. Cause let's look at some variants

If a Japanese person in Japan explicitly stated they created a classic American comic book and it's printed by a Japanese company for the Japanese market, do we still say it's a manga?

Is a collaboration between a Japanese and non-Japanese person with markets in both places of origin a manga?

If a Japanese person moved to a non-Japanese country creates something that in the typical manga art style, but is published for the non-Japanese country's audience, is that manga? And how about if it isn't in a manga style?

And if a Japanese mangaka in Japan drawing for the Japanese market creates something they do not want to be called manga, regardless of art style, do we call it manga anyways?

tbh I don't give a damn what people want to call manga. Like, I get people don't want to talk about different types of media during manga discussions, but it's not like these are entirely off topic


» dreamaway on May 2nd, 2020, 7:47pm

Apart from the third point, they're still gonna call it 'manga' themselves because that's what 'comics' stand for in Japanese lol.


» itsugo09 on May 2nd, 2020, 2:35pm

for me is the manga-style option, let's change a bit the question. if a japenese director/animator makes an animated movie in an US studio it is anime?


» dreamaway on May 2nd, 2020, 8:23pm

Would be interesting what the people who picked 'Only if it had manga-style artwork' thought when manga art can be varied. Well, arguably the default is the 'big eyes simple face' type, which is what most people think is the style. But what about those who draw with realism like Hojo Tsukasa and Inoue Takehiko? Or straight-up cartoon-y like Crayon Shin-chan and Chii's Sweet Home? Or those almost realistic but has cartoon-ish features like Urasawa Naoki. Then sometimes we have those odd ones like Kono Sekai no Owari e no Tabi


» ForeignerChan on May 3rd, 2020, 5:40am

Yes, that's why I didn't choose that option. There's certainly a set style in Japanese manga, but that alone isn't enough to define a manga. There are a lot of exceptions and variations, that's the reason why there's an "Atypical Art Style" category here on Baka-Updates.


» kurotaito on May 2nd, 2020, 9:01pm

Original publication decides what the series should be under. If you publish on a japanese website or publisher, manga. Thats my bit.